Friday, November 9, 2007

What goes up

A scientist, an actuary, a woo and a fundamentalist play the stockmarket.

Scientist: "About half the ones I predicted would increase went down, and about half the ones I predicted would go down went up. My model for predicting movements in the stock market is apparently not very good. Time for a new conjecture."

Actuary: "Last week, I predicted these ten stocks would rise and those ten would fall. Next week, I predict *these* 6 here will go up, and *those* 7 will fall. The week after that..."

Woo: "Those two /would/ have gone up, but the scientists are fiddling the numbers. This one did go up, but the government covered it up. Anyway, look! Three months ago I correctly predicted which direction *this* would go! And it did! See! Proof!"

Fundamentalist: "No, I didn't get the predictions wrong. In fact, they weren't predictions at all. No true Christian would claim that *those* stocks would go up, and that's not what I said. And you're using far too literal a sense of the word "up". Oh wait, see this stock we didn't discuss last week? It went up. That's perfectly in accordance with Ecclesiastes 3:5. The Bible correctly predicted it! Of course the text says that it would go up, you're reading it wrong - anyone with true faith can see that's what it really means. Of course we can use the word "up" literally! It's the plain meaning of the word! Why are you always so angry?"

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